Kenny Everett

Photo courtesy of Raoul Verolleman

Kenny was heard during the test transmissions for Radio London but his first real show was 6-9pm on Christmas Eve 1964. He quickly made that time-slot his own.

click to hear audio Kenny on his 6-9pm show, 17th June 1965 (duration 3 minutes 28 seconds)

Radio London was based on the format of KLIF in Dallas. One of that station's most popular shows was presented by two guys, Charlie and Harrigan. Kenny and his colleague Dave Cash were keen to try a similarly double-headed show on Big L. The Kenny & Cash programme was an immediate success. Although fondly remembered, it only ran for six short months, from April to October 1965.

click to hear audio Kenny & Cash from 2nd September 1965 (duration 3 minutes 19 seconds)

Kenny and Cash

Kenny & Cash. Photo courtesy of John Lait. See more of his photos here.

With the success of the Kenny & Cash programme, the DJ shift patterns were altered to keep the two together as much as possible. They made public appearances and wrote a weekly column for Music Echo magazine. This cutting is from Hans Knot's ‘Historie van Radio London’. Click on it to see the whole article.

Kenny and Cash cutting

Kenny was not only a talented broadcaster, he also created some of the best “promos” (in house promotional adverts) on offshore radio:

click to hear audio Letters From Our Listeners (duration 47 seconds)

Kenny Everett

Photo from ‘Who's Who In Pop Radio’ published by New English Library

click to hear audio A station promo (duration 57 seconds) and if you always wondered what the “chinese proverbian” was actually saying, you may be surprised
click to hear audio Kenny backwards (duration 4 seconds)

Kenny Everett on the air

Photo from ‘Beatwave’ magazine

In the days before “varispeed” technology Kenny would often dismantle the equipment and go to enormous lengths to get the effects he was after:

click to hear audio Radio London T-shirt promo (duration 35 seconds)

And on the same subject:

click to hear audio Lace-trimmed thigh caresser with matching what? (duration 40 seconds)

Kenny Everett

Photo from ‘Offshore Radio’ published by Iceni Enterprises

Even at this early stage in Kenny's career, one can hear some of the characters developing that would later appear on his TV shows:

click to hear audio Tony Windsor promo (duration 35 seconds)

Kenny Everett

Photo from ‘Who's Who In Pop Radio’ published by New English Library

In November 1965 Kenny was fired from Radio London. Despite being hugely popular, he had consistently made fun of The World Tomorrow, the evangelical programme scheduled in his show. However his voice returned to the station a few months later on a programme sponsored by a fizzy drink manufacturer:

click to hear audio Kenny Everett introducing Top Deck Time in May 1966 (duration 4 minutes 40 seconds)

Kenny Everett

Photo from ‘Beatwave’ magazine

Kenny was allowed to return to Radio London full-time in June 1966 after promising to behave himself.

click to hear audio Kenny on his 6-9pm show, 1st August 1966 (duration 2 minutes 59 seconds)
click to hear audio Kenny Everett sitting in for Mike Lennox on Radio London's Breakfast Show, 2nd August 1966.

Kenny Everett

Photo courtesy of George Morris

In August 1966 Kenny was invited to join The Beatles on their final concert tour of America. He sent back daily phone reports on their progress. (More details here.)

click to hear audio Kenny Everett reporting on the Beatles tour of America (duration 3 minutes 30 seconds)

Kenny Everett

Photo provided by Mitch Philistin. See more of his photos here.

click to hear audio Kenny on the afternoon of 4th February 1967, the day after having the exclusive first ever play of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever (duration 2 minute 37 seconds)

Although a fantastic disc-jockey, his news reading skills left something to be desired and it was rare for him to be called upon to read a bulletin:

click to hear audio Kenny reading a news bulletin from 25th February 1967 (duration 1 minute)

Kenny Everett

Photo provided by Hans Knot.

click to hear audio Kenny on Radio London from Sunday 19th March 1967 (duration 3 minutes 49 seconds)

In May 1967 Kenny moved to the BBC and joined former Radio London colleagues Chris Denning and Duncan Johnson on the Light Programme's Where It's At. Despite now working for “the Beeb”, as he called it, Kenny recorded a farewell message to be played during Radio London's final hour:

click to hear audio Kenny's final words on Radio London, 14th August 1967 (duration 2 minutes 2 seconds)

Some clips from Kenny's post-pirate radio career:

click to hear audio Kenny's celebrating Christmas Day, also his birthday, on Radio Luxembourg, 25th December 1970 (duration 3 minutes 49 seconds)
click to hear audio Nearly three years after being fired, Kenny is allowed back on BBC Radio One, 8th April 1973 (duration 3 minutes 59 seconds)
click to hear audio Kenny on an edition of “the world's worst wireless show” on London's Capital Radio, 1st May 1977 (duration 2 minutes 24 seconds)
click to hear audio Kenny on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute, trying to speak on a subject for 60 seconds without hesitation, deviation or repetition, with Clement Freud, Peter Jones, Kenneth Williams and chairman Nicholas Parsons. (duration 2 minutes 12 seconds)

Kenny Everett died on 4th April 1995. See his obituary in The Independent.
Two biographies of Kenny are reviewed here.
An edition of Desert Island Discs which featured Kenny as the ‘castaway’ is available to stream or download from the BBC website.
Many thanks to Hans, John, Stuart, Dave, David, Lynne, Martin, Ray, Tony, Azanorak, RBL and The Offshore Radio Archive for the featured recordings.
See also the Spotlight on Don Allen,
Spotlight on Tony Blackburn,
Spotlight on Roger Day,
Spotlight on Johnnie Walker
and Spotlight on Tony Windsor.

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